Testing remotely with VNC

Ever had to connect to PCs remotely?

I’ve used a limited selection, both commercial and Open Source, from a large range of solutions out there. However, I’ve found this to be a little gem TightVNC (open source), available from www.tightvnc.com

Brought to my attention by Bryan Nicholson, cheers!

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[textile]"RealVNC":http://www.realvnc.com is the original development from ATT labs. I am not sure how much development happens on it today... I had used that for several years but then discovered tightVNC as mentioned in Dave's post...

Having compared both just over a year ago now, on both Windows 2000 and XP, as viewers and servers, I did find that TightVNC was a little slicker, appeared to be a little faster than RealVNC (certainly on WinXP) and had several nifty enhancements in the configuration.

One thing to be very careful about with any VNC implementation is security.

The last thing you want is someone remotely compromising your machines... Not just from a remote-control perspective, as there are vulnerabilities that (certainly in the past) allowed an attacker to execute arbitrary code using vulnerabilities in the service (not so much through the viewer). On a secured LAN, this will be less of an risk... but not one to be ignored.


Antony Marcano

Did I mention that tightVNC can also be used via the browser..!
No need for client software, just push the .exe out to your host.

Though some OS need JVM/MSJVM to resolve refresh/viewing anomolies (I'll have to check the specifics).

[textile]After I read Dave's post, I recalled reading "this article on infoworld.com":http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/02/03/18/020318oplivingston.html that said that the Windows XP license makes the use of VNC (and other non-microsoft remote clients) to view the XP desktop, a breach of the license agreement...

This article is very old and I haven't confirmed whether this is still valid, however, it is worth bearing in mind...

"Brian Livingston writes...":http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/02/03/18/020318oplivingston.html

Reader Frank Brown sent me a completely different concern about XP, relating to VNC (Virtual Network Computing), a free remote-access application I described last week (see "Your virtual network," InfoWorld, March 11).

Microsoft's XP license agreement says, "Except as otherwise permitted by the NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop features described below, you may not use the Product to permit any Device to use, access, display, or run other executable software residing on the Workstation Computer, nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display, or run the Product or Product's user interface, unless the Device has a separate license for the Product."

That means using any software other than Microsoft's to view an XP desktop from Windows 2000 or any other operating system would violate the company's license agreement, in case you care.

"I use VNC extensively to manage several hundred desktops daily," Brown says. "So for me this is a big deal, and a good reason to stay away from XP until I see significant value added compared to Win 2000. So far I haven't."

I wonder how many people pay attention to this... I personally use the remote desktop client to access my XP desktop machine. This restricts you to one session at a time and means that if someone is logged onto the machine locally, they get locked out... but if you want to demonstrate something to someone on a WinXP machine, you can simply use the Remote Assistance feature where you can allow them to view your desktop or vise-verse.